Thursday, December 6, 2012

Jesse Tree Reflections: December 9 and 10

Dec. 9
Optional Reading: Exodus 12:1-39 (Passover)
Symbol: A Kneading Bowl (tan oval, brown trim)

“‘It is the Lord’s passover.  For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will smite all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord.  The blood shall be a sign for you, upon the houses where you are, and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall fall upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.’” Exodus 12: 12-13

There are so many echos in the story of the Passover of the One who is to come.  A spotless Lamb will be offered as the sacrifice, and His blood will be shed for the salvation of many.  Those marked with the blood of the Lamb will not perish, but live.

Christ is the true Lamb of the Pascal sacrifice.  We keep the memorial of His Death and Resurrection at every Mass.  And when we receive Him under the appearance of bread, we, like the ancient Israelites, know that we will escape death--not the death of the body, but the eternal death of the soul.

Dec. 10
Optional Reading: Exodus 19:16-20:20 (The Ten Commandments)
Symbol: Stone Tablets

“And God spoke all these words, saying, ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.  You shall have no other gods before me.”  Exodus 20: 1-3

It is fashionable in this modern age to pretend that the Ten Commandments no longer mean anything, or have any force.  But that dangerous pretense ignores the fact that Christ Himself told us He did not come to abolish the Law or the Commandments.  The Church’s moral teachings flow from this earliest code of moral law, expanding on it and applying it to our everyday lives, as Christ Himself did in His teachings.  Those who say that Christ never taught morality do not truly know Him, nor do they know the Father Who gave us these laws so very long ago, not for His benefit, but for our own.  If we would approach holiness, there is no better place to begin than to learn to keep the Commandments with attention and love.

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